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Leaving Keystone 2024 with a Glittery smile and Smokey eyes

45 Posts
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Posts: 932
Duchess Annual
Topic starter
(@firefly)
Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Joined: 7 years ago
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It was a women's week full of new emotions, in which I had one of the best moments of my life. It will be a memory that will remain engraved as a tattoo in my soul. My first chance to share in the flesh with people like me, as I told to an awesome woman I met at the bar. I would write about her and her nice husband later. I met wonderful people, both from CDH and TGH, who I had only interacted with online, and they were even better than I had anticipated. I also met fantastic people for the first time, even some who were not part of the conference. One of the more pleasant and fun moments was the CDH Meet Up, in which I had the privilege of hanging out with my beloved sisters of the site. I am very happy to have made the trip and what I accomplished there.

I admit that I am very reserved, somewhat closed into myself, and more of a listener than a talker. However, I felt very comfortable from the first night at the Hilton. On Tuesday I had my first achievement. In the afternoon my man (me) for the first time made a massive purchase of cosmetics to prepare me for my first decked out outing. I was a little nervous because I had never done such a complete makeup look. The body hair removal wasn't a delight, but it was successful. After that I painted my nails. Red for the ones on the feet and orange for my hands. Then the arduous task of putting on my makeup began with setbacks and successes. When I felt satisfied it was almost time to go down.

I was wearing my blue Arabella flowy dress and flat shoes, ballet dancer style. Plus a leather and silver choker, and round earrings. The frustration was that none of my stay up stockings stayed up, but this allowed me to put on some anklets. I wore my long brown wig with blonde highlights. I didn't hesitate. With my womanhood rising I left the room and went down to the lobby, where our hostess Suzanne, who turned out to be nice and fun, was already waiting for us. I felt overwhelmed. Finally, I was one of the girls. I was no longer a lone female wolf. At least for one night. A mixture of strong feelings made my heart beat loudly. I traveled to the restaurant with three wonderful ladies and there we were joined by a few more. Truly nice.

It was my first night out as a woman, and when I remember everything that happened to put me in that place I see it less as a personal achievement than a team success because all the encouragement, understanding, and support I have received since I joined CDH and later TGH. What a night!

I felt great pride as I shared my first big night experience at the Keystone Friendship Social the next morning. The ladies encouraged me. Then I had my first shopping en femme at The Carriage House Boutique: a cute dress for the Saturday Gala. The nice young lady who helped me was very kind and made me feel comfortable. Entering the fitting room with two dresses was intense. I liked how the blue dress turned out on me more than the red one. I loved the encouraging comments from my fellow shoppers; they were convincing. I had a great time shopping and then having lunch at Nagoya with three nice new girlfriends.

Keystone was an absolutely fabulous stay. Each meal was a new opportunity to meet friends and share stories. I even became a Veteran Navy Chef during a luncheon. For some reason the fact that I had arrived from Panama attracted attention. I didn't think it was a big deal; certainly, in my homeland, I have not seen similar events exist nor do we have such acceptance. Besides I eagerly wanted to meet my girlfriends from CDH. However, I never felt like a foreigner. They always made me feel like another girl in the group, that I belonged at Keystone. I truly returned home overwhelmed by the love they gave me throughout the event. I feel like I have left behind another home with a lot to tell.

When talking about affection I have to refer to a very special moment that happened on Thursday night. I first discovered at Rubicon that there was a drink named after my username: The Firefly - and it set me on fire. Upon returning to the hotel I decided to go to the Hilton bar to drink a few margaritas. There I met the fabulous couple I mentioned before. They were from Harrisburg and had arrived at the bar out of habit. They found out quickly about the Conference, and they were impressed. They were both very nice and friendly. They welcomed me to their table and we talked about what it meant to me to be there. The wife especially nourished my spirit. I was flattered by her compliments: "You have a good soul" and "You are beautiful". I just needed that. Before leaving she asked me to dance with her. "Dreams", coincidentally. Fleetwood Mac. Another new experience. The woman-on-woman dance was delirious. My heart was swelling with excitement. They left after that, while I ordered another margarita before I went upstairs. They made my night.

At Keystone I strengthened my confidence and dignity. Keynote Speaker Gabbi Tuft was moving. Superb.

And I danced incessantly at both the Friday and Saturday night parties, both times I ended up dancing barefoot. Free and happy. I had never danced so loosely before. Keystone Conference 2024 marked a before and after in me. It has rejuvenated me. It is like unreleased music that I will be able to compose with the notes my heart chooses and dance to it at my own pace.

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44 Replies
11 Replies
Baroness Annual
(@finallyfiona)
Joined: 7 months ago

Noble Member     Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 897

@firefly

Gisela, what you've written here is absolutely beautiful, thank you for putting it all down in words πŸ™‚Β  I felt transported as if I was also joining in the event, one that I wish we had an equivalent of in the UK!

Hugs,
Fiona xxx

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Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@finallyfiona Thank you, Fiona. I had the time of my lifetime. It was a wonderful experience. I feel I need to share it.Β 

Cinnamon kisses,

Gisela

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Baroness
(@alexina)
Joined: 6 months ago

Noble Member     Fife, United Kingdom
Posts: 936

@fireflyΒ 

Thanks, Gisela, for this uplifting and inspiring account of your visit.

I agree with Fiona, I almost feel like I was there (maybe someday 😃👗). It seems such a great event and the atmosphere you describe must have been wonderful.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it and that you've shared it with us.

HugsΒ 

Allie x

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Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

I am really glad to share my experience, Allie. Thanks.

Cinnamon kisses,

Gisela

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Lady
(@chanel)
Joined: 7 months ago

Reputable Member     New Jersey, United States of America
Posts: 164

@firefly Β  β€œI strengthened my confidence and dignity…” so wonderful to hear!!

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Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@chanel And wonderful to feel. Thanks, Channel.Β 

Cinnamon kisses,

Gisela

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Lady
(@chanel)
Joined: 7 months ago

Reputable Member     New Jersey, United States of America
Posts: 164

😚😚😚

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Duchess
(@alison-anderson)
Joined: 6 years ago

Noble Member     Middlesex county, New Jersey, United States of America
Posts: 1534

@firefly Hi Gisela. As one of the "Nagoya" ladies, it was nice to meet you. Being from Panama, it is easy to find your pin in the map that is displayed near the registration.

I am also more of a listener than a talker, although I'm not uncomfortable talking. But I enjoyed hearing your perspective. While this was only my second trip to Keystone, I've had many trips out over the years.

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Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@alison-anderson Yes, Alison. We had had a good time at Nagoya. It was nice to meet you too. I am aiming to the West Coast now. I like to read your comments.

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Lady
(@leainvancouver)
Joined: 7 months ago

Prominent Member     Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 370

@firefly Gisela, I really admire your courage for diving in and making so much happen. Harrisburg is a long way from Panama and you charmed your way there! Β I look forward to meeting you at Esprit next month. It will be a memorable event!

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Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@leainvancouver Thanks, Lea. I just try to live my life the best way I can. I am sure we will make Esprit memorable.

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Posts: 166
Duchess
(@erikabell)
Estimable Member     Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Joined: 2 years ago

Such a great first time story. So glad you grew your confidence and had the experiences you did.

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@erikabell Thank you. I'm glad you like it.It was nice to meet you there.Β 

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Posts: 1458
Hostess
(@cdsue)
Noble Member     Delaware, United States of America
Joined: 5 years ago

Gisela -

Thank you so much for sharing your experience at Keystone. Very happy for you. Hope to one day be able to attend.

XOXO
Suzanne

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@cdsue Thanks. I hope you can go. It is a beautiful event.

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Posts: 657
Ambassador
(@melodeescarlet)
Noble Member     Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Joined: 12 months ago

I'm so glad you made the trip and it IS a big deal! I was glad to meet you and hope to see you again in '25! πŸ™‚

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@melodeescarlet Thanks. I will love to get back next year. It was great.Β 

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Posts: 1446
(@debbiedd)
Noble Member     los angeles, California, United States of America
Joined: 4 years ago

Congrats Gisela now you have crossed the rubicon. Although I wasnt there this year I know what a thrill it is to be with others and be able to fully be yourself girl. Now you have the confidence to be out as your natural self in public with far less anxiety. Such a thrill and far better than being closeted and a lone wolf which you are no more. Big kisses

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

Thanks Deborah. It's right. I feel relaxed since I came back.

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Posts: 145
Duchess
(@jwhite)
Reputable Member     Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America
Joined: 6 months ago

Gisela,

What an incredible story! Thank you very much for sharing it!

xxx

Jamie

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

You are welcome, Jamie. I really enjoyed writing it.

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Posts: 909
Duchess Annual
(@catgurl)
Noble Member     Marietta, Georgia, United States of America
Joined: 5 years ago

Gisela,

I am intrigued by a sentence in your article where you say, "I even became
a veteran Navy Chief during a luncheon."

The reason for my curiosity is way back many years ago I was initiated into
that same fraternity. At the time, I never told them I was already a member of a
worldwide sorority of sisters which I considered superior to anything the Navy
could offer me.

So, are you a retired CPO?

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3 Replies
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

Navy Chef, Peggy Sue. No. I have never been in the real Navy. It was a gesture of kindness and acceptance. One day I came in late for lunch because my luncheon ticket had been left in my room and they stopped me at the first table I passed. A nice lady I had met before. Terri, a retired military officer.The members of the table, they belonged to the army, navy or air force. She invented that I had to be a veteran of some military body to join them. And after several questions, she named me a Navy veteran chef. She was really pleasant It was a very fun lunch, so much so that I sat with the group again during the next lunch.

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Duchess Annual
(@catgurl)
Joined: 5 years ago

Noble Member     Marietta, Georgia, United States of America
Posts: 909

Oh OK, thank you, Gisela, for clearing that up and glad you enjoyed
yourself. Sounds like you made many new friends.

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Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

@catgurl A lot. It was a wonderful week. Magical.

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Posts: 2709
Hostess
(@ab123)
Famed Member     Surrey, United Kingdom
Joined: 4 years ago

Such a lovely story Gisela and so wonderfully written. Every girls dream evening.

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

Thanks, Angela. You can bet it was!

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Posts: 423
Duchess
(@terrim)
Reputable Member     Long Island , New York, United States of America
Joined: 8 years ago

This year I believe would have been my 9th or 10th time at Keystone. Unfortunately I had to cancel attending due to family issues. After canceling I really felt down. Every year I have attended I enjoyed it more. I have attended First Event and Fantasia Fair in the past. Keystone is a great event. I think what I like most about it , is all the different people I have met each time I attended. Hopefully I will be there next year.

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2 Replies
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

I hope I can go back next year too. It will be a pleasure to meet you, Terri.

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Duchess
(@terrim)
Joined: 8 years ago

Reputable Member     Long Island , New York, United States of America
Posts: 423

I hope so too. 🙏

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Posts: 297
Duchess
(@elguapo)
Reputable Member     The Villages, Florida, United States of America
Joined: 9 years ago

So glad you had a good experience Gisela.Β  It was a wonderful week.

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

Yes. It was nice to meet you, Elaine.

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Posts: 1304
Baroness Annual
(@d44)
Noble Member     New York, United States of America
Joined: 5 years ago

Nice story Gisela. Sorry I missed you in Harrisburg. Maybe next year?

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1 Reply
Duchess Annual
(@firefly)
Joined: 7 years ago

Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Posts: 932

Sure, Fiona. We should talk next year. I think you were sat right in front of me when the photo at CDH Meet Up was taken.

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Posts: 932
Duchess Annual
Topic starter
(@firefly)
Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Joined: 7 years ago

I was thrilled that during my last meal before leaving for the airport, a waitress who served me several times asked me if I would come back next year.
I don't think it was just because of the tips. Hahaha.
She was really nice all the time.

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Posts: 137
 Dani
Lady
(@danirost)
Estimable Member     Central, Illinois, United States of America
Joined: 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing. I hope to someday experience and outing like you did. It's one of my goals. I'm glad you had a fantastic time.

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Posts: 932
Duchess Annual
Topic starter
(@firefly)
Noble Member     Panama, Panama, Panama
Joined: 7 years ago

Thank you, Dani. I enjoyed writing this article. It was like reliving the experience. Until a few months ago I thought that these things would only happen to me in dreams. That it was just a daydream. When the opportunity arose, I didn't think much about it and jumped into the adventure. And I enjoyed it very much. Keep in your thoughts that it is in your future and it will be a wonderful day.

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Posts: 163
(@hvdt)
Estimable Member     Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Joined: 6 years ago

I hope you take home from Keystone that you can really be who you want to be. The more visible we are the more mainstream we become. I am a massive believer in coming out and living the life we were meant to have. How often we think that our family and the people in our networks will not accept us only to find out this is not the case. Being able to live as we feel is the only way to avoid that caged feeling, the only way to be truly free. β€˜Be it, dontr dream it!’

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